American Rifleman - November 2009 - (Page 8)

CORRESPONDENCE EDITOR’S LETTER W hat a difference 15 years makes. Back in 1994, most of my friends and colleagues who owned .223 Rem. AR-15-type ri es were target shooters, varminters or collectors. When Bill Clinton and his anti-gun cronies forced the ill-conceived, so-called “assault weapons” ban through the Congress, comparatively few shooters, let alone the public, had direct experience with the guns. Not so anymore. Today, far more shooters and hunters own semiautomatic rearms, and those who seek to ban such ri es because they look different from traditional boltactions have a harder row to hoe. Ignorance can only propel anti-gun legislation so far until it smacks into the hard wall of the truth. Just as John Browning’s Auto-5 shotgun or the Remington Model 8 are not machine guns, neither are the semi-automatics based on Gene Stoner’s AR family of ri es. They are gas-operated semiautomatic rearms, and they differ in operation from selective- re military arms: One pull of the trigger produces only one shot. And just like the Auto-5 and Model 8 did a century ago, AR-style ri es are gaining more and more attention from hunters. Again, much like the Model 8, these ri es had to overcome the limited power of the cartridges for which the guns were chambered. The Model 8 was chambered in .25 Rem., .30 Rem., .32 Rem. and .35 Rem.—hardly ballistic powerhouses. There was a time when I viewed the AR-15 platform as a wonderful target gun and plinking ri e, but poorly suited for my particular big-game hunting needs because of the lack of power in its cartridge chamberings. The most common chambering, .223 Rem., while popular in some areas for deer hunting with appropriate projectiles, is prohibited for that use in my home state of Virginia. For hunting whitetail deer, it must be .23 cal. or larger. So, for many years, my AR shooting was limited to matches, varminting and range work. With the expansion of AR-10type ri es, notably from DPMS, ArmaLite, Bushmaster and now Remington, I’ve since used ARbased ri es in .243 Win., .308 Win. and 7 mm-08 Rem. The other cartridge that is relatively new to the AR-10-style platform is the .338 Federal. Field Editor Bryce M. Towsley, the author of “Hunting With Modern Semi-Automatic Ri es: The AR A eld” starting on p. 70, made me a believer and a convert to the .338 Federal. It shoots well, hits hard and feeds like a dream. My new personal favorite is built on the .223 Rem.-length ARstyle gun: the .450 Bushmaster. This cartridge is ballistically similar to a .45-70 Gov’t but adapted to feed out of a magazine in the AR platform. I’ve hunted boar and deer with it, and the 250-gr. SST Hornady factory load at around 2200 f.p.s. from the muzzle is accurate and of suf cient power to be used for just about any creature that walks North America. On top of that it’s fun, especially on hogs, although the recoil with .450 Bushmaster makes a checkered steel buttplate into a reasonable facsimile of an old-school meat tenderizer. Those who laugh at slip-on recoil pads or replacement stocks with sorbothane inserts obviously haven’t red several boxes of .450 Bushmaster at one sitting with a straight A2-style stock. Power was the main limiting factor for big-game hunting with AR-type ri es; that stumbling block has been eliminated through ballistic innovation and the commercial availability of AR-10-based ri es. Give one a try, you might be surprised. Sincerely, http://www.stagarms.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - November 2009

American Rifleman - November 2009

Contents
From The Editor
Armed Citizen
Standing Guard
President’s Column
Fighting The Good Fight
Readers Write
News, Notes and Ephemera
Questions & Answers
Loading Bench
A Perfectly Delightful Cartridge: 7x57 mm Mauser
A Step Apart: The Browning Maxus
Triggernometry 101
A “Clean” Barrel
Hunting With Modern Semi-Automatic Rifles: The AR Afield
Remington’s Model 10: “The Other Trench Gun”
Exploded View: ArmaLite M-15 A2 Carbine
Dope Bag: Data & Comment
Political Report
NRA-ILA Report
Regional Report/Member Info & Benefits
Programs & Services
I Have This Old Gun

American Rifleman - November 2009

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